JOHNNY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy by Kenneth P.; David F. Powers & Joe McCarthy O'Donnell

JOHNNY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ah, the memories of young Jack Kennedy. They keep coming back like old lads to a crowded wake. Dies Irae and pass the whiskey, Dave. He rolled back the lace curtain. They're no longer hanging men and women for the wearin' of the green. He wore his shamrock high. ""Don't let it be forgot/That once there was a spot/For one brief shining moment that was known/As Cam-e-lot."" Praise be the Saints. This then is the Irish Mafia -- as Irish as blarney -- remembering that fleeting wisp of glory from the early days when old-line Boston Dimmycrats would ask ""What's he ever done to be ilected?"" to the Thousand Days that ended in Dallas. Most of the book is potato politics. O'Donnell, who may be the most powerful Kennedy political confidant this side of Bobby. recalls the decision to put Johnson on the ticket (""'This is the worst mistake you ever made,' I said to him""), sweating out that very close election (""'I'm worrying about Teddy,' Bobby said. 'We've lost every state that he worked in out West. Jack will kid him, and that may hurt Teddy's feelings""), the debate over putting Whizzer White on the Supreme Court (""Bobby bristled. I said to him...'I don't see how we can get the Justice Department to approve the nomination. After all, Whizzer is only a lawyer from Denver who never served as a judge, and he didn't go to Harvard Law School.' Catching on to the ribbing, Bobby glared at both of us and we all laughed""). Memories. Dave, apolitical, simply a guy Kennedy ""liked to have around him as much as possible,"" recollects the trip to Ireland and how the girls sang Danny Boy and how the President joined them in an encore. Or how in the early Boston campaigns young Jack ""would talk to the Doherties on the first floor, to the O'Briens on the second floor and the Murphys on the third floor."" Memories. Brogue memories.

Pub Date: Dec. 4th, 1972
Publisher: Little, Brown